You hear “Let it go” very often, but what does it mean to let go? How do we let go in the hectic world that we live in? Why do you need to learn to let go anyways?

Before we delve into these issues I want to first tell you a little story about a strange teacher of mine in middle school. By learning about this simple story, you might get thinking what letting go really means.

The middle school I went to was in one of my neighboring villages in an outskirt of Beijing in China. Kids from the nearby poor villages attended that school, many of whom took pride in giving teachers headaches. There were some boys in class who always interrupted classes with their dirty dark jokes, or simply made faces to distract other students. Their intention was to gain attention from other students and therefore hinder class and perhaps see the angry faces teachers made. My teachers were so stressed with these trouble makers and punished them often. However, it did not stop them from their mischievous behaviors. They were such a headache for all my teachers.

Now here’s where my strange history teacher comes in. Instead of punishing the bad boys who were making trouble, he punished those who responded to their jokes. I thought that my teacher was crazy and certainly unfair, because he was punishing the innocent. People who responded were not the ones who initiated the troublesome behavior. In other words, they were not the source of trouble but simply victims. At least that was what I thought back then as a middle school student.

However, if you think deeper, it takes two hands to clap; it takes sending and receiving messages in a communication. My strange teacher punished those who responded to bad boys because they needed to take responsibility for how they felt; they needed to let go. You don’t see yourself as a victim because of what others did. Being able to let go means that you are in power.

You cannot change what others do but you can certainly control what you do, and that includes how you want to feel. Letting go means that you do not respond by default blindly, it means that you do not give thought/attention to whatever is bothering you. It requires the knowledge that you yourself control your own feelings and not anything outside. Letting go allows you to be able to break the chain of pain and obtain peace internally.

[bctt tweet=”“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” ~Ajahn Chah” username=”SueMaisano”]

“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” ~Ajahn Chah

Now let’s take letting go to another level so that you understand what it means on a deeper level.

There is a story of an enlightened monk who, one night, got an unexpected visit from the parents of the teenage girl living next door. They stormed in and accused the monk of getting their daughter pregnant. They were so furious that they threatened to tell everybody in the village about how horrible and fake he was. They said they would ruin his reputation as a monk and give him the child.

The enlightened monk had no reaction other than saying: “Is that so?”

The baby was born and given to the monk, and he raised the child. His reputation was ruined indeed.

A year later the parents paid another visit to the monk to apologize and requested the child back because their daughter confessed that the child was fathered by the butcher instead of the monk.

The enlightened monk had no reaction other than saying: “Is that so?”

The baby went back to the real parents and the monk’s reputation was restored.

What does letting go mean?

Letting go means you do not react to things happening outside, and you don’t allow things to affect you. It means that you own your feelings and take control of them. Since you are not swayed by the outside happenings when you truly let go, there is nothing to upset you, to make you sad, unhappy or cause you pain. Because you are in power, you can generate the true feelings of happiness, content, and being loved from the inside. Being able to truly let go has profound meanings.

How to let go in this hectic world?

When the traffic light just turned green and you didn’t shoot out like a bullet and the person behind you honked you, say to yourself, “So what?” That is letting go. When locked into an argument and someone flips a middle finger at you, say to yourself, “It does not mean anything” and immediately stop the argument and move on. That is letting go. In fact, before long you will never get into an argument anymore when you keep practicing letting go. When at work, your coworker does something stupid, in your mind anyways, and affects you in a negative way, say to yourself, “That’s OK, no big deal.” That’s letting go.

Letting go is an attitude towards things, people and thoughts. When you learn to truly let go you will improve your relationships and achieve peace and harmony. Not only your relationships will be improved, you will also let go of perceived past pains and frustrated caused by others or yourself. It takes a change of perception, a new higher understanding to achieve letting go in this hectic world, and you are on your way!